Figuring out what vitamins to take when pregnant can feel totally overwhelming! I'm sharing the best pregnancy supplements I've taken (and one's I'd skip!) for early pregnancy, past the first trimester, + postpartum while nursing! These goes well beyond the best prenatal vitamins to take when pregnant!
There's different vitamins for early pregnancy and supplements after 12 weeks depending on what you're experiencing during the first trimester. Finding the right pregnancy supplements, especially if you have an MTHFR mutation, can be the difference between experiencing nausea, constipation, low energy, or none of those things!
- Best Pregnancy Supplements
- Watch what pregnancy supplements I take during each trimester and postpartum:
- Prenatal Vitamins:
- NEEDED Prenatal Vitamin (BEST)
- Innate Prenatal:
- Multi-Vitamin (low choline- took briefly in 2nd trimester):
- Klaire Labs Prenatal + Nursing Vitamin (taking in 3rd trimester):
- Garden Of Life Prenatal (no choline – don't recommend)
- Best Prenatal Probiotic: Needed Probiotic
- Organic Olivia Probiotic/Prebiotic
- MegaSporeBiotic Probiotic:
Watch what pregnancy supplements I take during each trimester and postpartum:
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NEEDED Prenatal Vitamin (BEST)
I founded NEEDED in my third trimester when I was seriously searching for a probiotic solution to avoid being GBS+ this pregnancy. I am SO bummed I didn't find them sooner.
Their probiotic is THE BEST (more on that later). And this is 100% the prenatal vitamin I now recommend for pregnancy! No more switching every trimester for me (more on that below too!).
Here's why I love them:
- Easy to read/understand ingredients
- Full transparency (they highlight the things they've left out and why)
- Formulated by science to meet optimal needs (they link research on each ingredients individual page!)
- Use highly absorbable ingredients + take MTHFR mutations into consideration!
- Pill OR Powder form!
It's one of the EASIEST prenatals to stomach during the first trimester IMO! Just add to your smoothie, yogurt, oatmeal or morning latte! I've been using the prenatal powder the last few weeks of my pregnancy. It's a slightly sweet vanilla taste that's delicious and the after taste is either none of a little vitamin C-y.
You can read about NEEDED's Prenatal ingredients and optimal levels backed by science here.
Save 20% off your entire NEEDED order with discount code TCM here!!
Innate prenatal vitamins are what I took during the first trimester. Supplement wise, they are one of the better one's to take during the first trimester (NEEDED's is better, but I didn't know about them then).
This prenatal vitamin did give me “morning sickness.” While I never threw up, I did experience nausea all day, even just drinking water! I ended up seeing an acupuncturist and started taking these just before bed and it went away. Once I finished the jar, I was in the second trimester and switched prenatal vitamins as a result though.
Multi-Vitamin (low choline- took briefly in 2nd trimester):
This is a fantastic whole food based vegan multivitamin that a nurse recommended to me. While it isn't technically for pregnancy, it does provide a lot of what pregnant women need (definitely not everything), so double check with your care provider.
I took this briefly during the second trimester after finishing my last prenatal, then decided to save the rest for postpartum since I was upping my probiotic routine and this one includes a probiotic.
Since it's made with whole foods, and there's turmeric, it does turn your pee highlighter yellow! But it's has no prenatal pill taste and no side effects for me!
This is what I'll probably taking post pregnancy after the fourth trimester.
Klaire Labs Prenatal + Nursing Vitamin (taking in 3rd trimester):
Klaire labs was a my go-to probiotic for my newborn so I was happy to try out there prenatal and nursing vitamin. They are one of the better supplement brands I've come across! Their prenatal vitamin has more choline than the multi-vitamin, but not as much as NEEDED‘s or Innate's.
This one has been recommended by doctors for those with an MTHFR mutation (if you don't know what that is, definitely talk to your care providers ASAP! It's important to know for both you and baby!)
The taste for this one is probably the worst though; but no nausea! I would end up hiccuping it every now and then after taking, so I started taking this before bed as well and why I switched to NEEDED‘s.
Garden Of Life Prenatal (no choline – don't recommend)
I wanted to talk about the Garden of Life Prenatal since I know it's one of the cheaper options on Amazon that most women go for (including myself during my first pregnancy!).
Here's what I loved: No bad taste. No nausea.
However, I later learned about choline and absorbable forms of folate, and realized there were better options out there.
Probiotic Supplements During Pregnancy
Best Prenatal Probiotic: Needed Probiotic
Needed's probiotic supplement is the best overall prenatal probiotic supplement I've come across!
It has the two strains that have been the most studied in pregnant women with overall positive results (Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus reuteri).
My midwife recommended I take this probiotic though, which doesn't have either of those strands, because it's sporebased (specifically: Bacillus subtilis) and inhibits the growth of “bad bacteria.”
For the first and second trimester, I basically switched off every few days between the two probiotics below. It was annoying and I couldn't figure out why I couldn't find one that just had both! Then I found this one! And it's PERFECT in my opinion! It's has the most studied and proven strains, plus the spore based strains.
It's a prebiotic/probiotic combo. So basically it's putting in the good bacteria, and feeding it (prebiotic), while the sporebased strains limit the growth of bad bacteria. You can read all about the science here (and use code TCM for 20% off your order!).
Organic Olivia Probiotic/Prebiotic
This is the probiotic supplement I typically take and plan to take again postpartum.
It includes the two good strains I previously talked about, but doesn't have the spore based strains that limit the bad bacteria's growth.
However, it's prebiotic is specifically designed to help destroy the bad bacteria, and it does have anti-inflammatory strains which are so it's one of my favorite probiotics to take regularly.
This is the spore based probiotic my midwife recommends; and 9 out of 10 of her patients are GBS negative! She attributes it to this probiotic.
With that said, it hasn't been studied on pregnant women yet (I don't think), and I really wanted a mix, which is why I kept searching for the best prenatal probiotic supplement until I found this one!
GBS Protocol + Supplements (recommended by my midwife)
In addition to an oral probiotic throughout pregnancy, my midwife recommends taking 1/4 of a probiotic pill as a suppository every other day for two weeks leading up to the GBS test.
Basically you break one of the pills, pour it on a plate, divide into 4 equal sizes, dip your finger into one portion, and put it in your vagina (sometimes you need to dip in the mix a few times so it sticks).
In addition to the probiotic, she recommends taking garlic capsules or eating lots of garlic and probiotic rich foods (sauerkraut, yogurt, kimchi, etc.).
She also recommends taking two additional supplements daily beginning two weeks before the GBS test and until baby is born:
Echinacea is one of the most well-known, researched, and respected immune-supporting herbs. We also keep this one in our supplement cabinet whenever we feel a cold or for flu season.
Pure Synergy is one of my favorite brands for immune boosting supplements. They are generally vegan, gluten free, USDA certified Organic, Non-GMO, and go through a very clean processing.
This has no taste and is VERY easy to take!
Vitamin C Powder
High dosing vitamin C during pregnancy has been around for a LONG time. There's even a pregnancy Vitamin C protocol you can do throughout each trimester, postpartum, and with your baby once they come! People have varying opinions on it though…
I think the big issue lies in the fact that most Vitamin C supplements are ascorbic acid, which is just the shell of Vitamin C. High dosing ascorbic acid can lead to copper and other minerals depleting (learn more here).
If you do high dose Vitamin C, definitely opt for a whole food supplement like this one (code TCM for 15% off!).
Other Pregnancy Supplements (can use post pregnancy too!):
Calm (Magnesium Supplement)
Because I had trouble drinking water while pregnant during the first trimester, I inevitably became constipated. Not fun!
My acupuncturist recommended I take this magnesium supplement. I had actually taken it years ago during a very stressful time in my life and it's worked wonders. It helped me sleep better and relaxed the muscles. And of course, it helps relax the sphincter to make pooping easier while pregnant!
Many postpartum women say it helped them poop easier after delivery than the stool softeners the hospital would give! Heck, last night I was struggling with some restless/crampy legs before bed making it impossible to fall asleep and I took this, fell right asleep! Definitely great to have on hand throughout pregnancy as magnesium demands increase.
My vitamin D levels were low while pregnant so my midwife wanted me to take a supplement. For teeth + bone health it's actually really important to take a combo D3K2 supplement. Just before I found out about my vitamin D levels being low, I had ordered this one.
Since it's liquid, I just took one or two drops on top of the previous pill, or I'd take 5-7 drops on days I didn't take the pill. My 2 year old also takes this and it's part of my post pregnancy supplements too!
NOTE: I NO LONGER recommend taking Vitamin D while pregnant (see why here), even if your levels are low! I know it's a controversial take, but basically I do recommend taking Vitamin K (I use this brand, code TCM for 10% off) and I do recommend taking this brand of Cod Liver Oil for it's Vitamin A and D .
During my 6 week pregnancy vlog, I talked about how I was about to do a liver detox before I found out I was pregnant.
Then during pregnancy, my back started to get very itchy. Itchy skin can be a sign that the liver is overburdened. So I started taking dandelion root each day during the second trimester.
NOTE: Itchy belly skin is normal (stretching) it was more that mine was on my back
You can start taking this supplement to prepare the uterus before you get pregnant and then throughout your pregnancy to strengthen the uterus. It's packed full of herbs that make contractions more effective too!
After Ease (Postpartum)
This is what my midwife recommends for postpartum support to ease cramps or discomfort instead of ibuprofen. It worked AMAZING for me postpartum! I just took a dropper in OJ whenever I'd feel any cramping begin and it'd be gone!
As always, it's critical to talk with your care providers to make sure you are taking the right pregnancy supplements for your situation. This is just what I've taken over two pregnancies. NEEDED is truly the best prenatal supplement brand I've found in expertly formulating optimal levels and what baby/mama actually need in a clean and absorbable way. Click here for 20% off your NEEDED order with promo code TCM!
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